Tag Archives: 1000 Words

“1000 Words” – Now Available in Paperback

Well, the good news is: It’s here. My Honors College Project is done. Turned in. Complete.

Yay. 🙂

Formally titled “1000 Words: A Collection of Short Stories,” is is now available on Amazon. I even fixed the description’s HTML so that it used line breaks. (Though it looks like I’ll have to independently set up the “search inside” feature for the paperback book).

http://www.amazon.com/1000-Words-Collection-Short-Stories/dp/1475227477/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335566292&sr=8-1

Gotta admit, the cool thing is that while I was showing a copy of the printed book to my mentor for the project, a few of the other photo students got a chance to look at it and seemed impressed. Plus, one of the staff who works there decided to buy my book, making him the first official buyer of the paperback edition. Yay! My fiance has first dibs on the ebook edition. LOL 🙂

So now, here’s the part that may or may not be helpful for those of you reading my posts. I’ve taken pictures of the printed book (The Honors College permitted me to buy ten of them, one first myself, one for my mentor, and one for each of the seven models), at different angles. It’s a 6×9 inch paperback book from CreateSpace (they do print-on-demand, or “POD” printing) at 72 pages.

I’ll say one thing. It may be small, but I’m impressed with the interior color printing. The text is crisp, and the colors from the images don’t appear to smudge. The inner covers look great. I might have been a little off on how the spine was supposed to look, but it looks like the guides were correct (once I made a PSD to work from) for the wraparound cover. The paper for the front cover feels a little thin (as opposed to the paper a book printed at Lulu used for the cover) but the quality of the image looks great.

The paper pages are a bright white, but easy to read. I would personally consider extending the gutters out a bit or changing how I typeset the text in word, because the sentence feels a bit short when I try to read a paragraph, but that’s something I personally can do better to improve.

The pages open easily but do not lay flat (I felt a bit concerned about how thin the book is, but the binding appears to be holding).

Now, on to the pictures. 🙂

Front Cover:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

Back Cover:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

Side View:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

Side View:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

Inner Pages:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

Text Page:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

Cover Page:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

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Updated Website and “1000 Words” Paperback Edition

Last night I uploaded the updated version of my website, http://www.sbibbphoto.com . Now it is split into two sections, Portrait and Event Photography, for the more traditional side of things, and Photographic Illustration and Book Cover Design for my illustrative work. Luckily it only took a couple days to really tweak and update it, but as I’m looking at it, I wonder if my blog and DeviantArt account may be better suited to showing off my work. They’re both easy to update, and you can see the pictures at a much larger size.

Which brings up the question, how large of a size do potential clients want to see images? I already know that I need to update the background for the portrait section of the website, (and tweak the splash page), but I wonder if it might be better to redo the style entirely. My fiance brought up a good point; it’d be a good idea to show both my stronger traditional portraits, as well as my illustrative ones. I know it’s going to take a while to get my book cover design business going. So even though my professors generally say, “Show what you want to sell,” perhaps it’d be a good idea to show both for the time being.

At least until the book cover design business takes off.

And if nothing else, the website works as a good hub for connecting all the different sites I frequent together.

Meanwhile, on the topic of “1000 Words,” I’ve gone into Createspace to set up pricing, and came in for a bit of a sticker shock. Keep in mind, I can order these books for myself for about $6.00. I planned on adding a couple dollars for personal royalties, thus putting it around $8.00. Still kind of pricy, but not necessarilly horrible for a full color book. But with the way the royalties are set up, the minimum I can sell it for is $9.80-something, and that’s not counting royalties on Amazon. My only guess is that it might be for shipping? If I want to make $2.00 off each book on Amazon, I’d be selling it for near $12.00.

Personally, if I was considering buying a paperback for myself, I’m not sure that’d be worth it, for any book that size.

So now I’m trying to decide if I should actually try selling it in paperback version. I suspect that once shipping costs are added in, I wouldn’t do much better trying to sell it myself (unless I was selling it by hand). I probably will upload a paperback version, so it’s there, but I’ll definitly recommend going for the ebook version, if all you want is the stories. (Now if you want your own, personal, handheld copy with all its cool formatting, by all means, go for the paperback version).

But it looks like I won’t be able to sell the paperbacks for under $10.00, like I’d originally planned. Either way, I plan to release it this Friday.

It does bring up one problem that self-publishers have trying to sell thier books, though. Being price-competitive has its complications.

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“1000 Words” Anthology Available on Kindle and Developing a Novella

I’m almost done with the “1000 Words” posts, really.  🙂  But I thought it’d be worth mentioning that the anthology is now available on Kindle : http://www.amazon.com/1000-Words-Collection-Stories-ebook/dp/B007WMXV6O/ref=sr_1_24?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1335312063&sr=1-24

The paperback version will be available starting this Friday the 27th, assuming that all goes well. It should be available on Amazon and Createspace. At this point in time I’m not doing expanded distribution, since I don’t think it will have the drive needed to pay itself off. The book will be under $10.00, and will include all ten short stories, have special print formatting, and be in full color (hence the price) that includes each of the ten book covers. 🙂

On a side note, I’ve found that I enjoyed putting all this together. So while short stories themselves may not be my thing (I can now focus on my YA novel, yay!), I’m considering writing a collection of short stories that develop into a novella. Reason being, a few reviews I’ve gotten on Smashwords suggested interest in seeing The Hunter or Socks developed into a longer story. While I don’t see The Hunt becoming much longer (unless I get a few short story ideas I decide to develop), I am considering writing Socks into a two or three part novella. That is– write three sections that are approximately 10,000 words (but not strictly linked to that– I learned from this project that’d be a bad idea). Each one would be a complete story, but the whole project would be linked. Each of the three parts would probably cost a dollar or so.

For a quick reminder, Socks is the YA sci-fi romance short story I wrote for “1000 Words.” It has hints of dystopia, and can be found free on Smashwords if you’re curious to see which one I’m talking about: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/154150

So if you guys are interested in seeingSocksdeveloped into a novella, please bring up your thoughts and comment. That way I know if it’s worth dividing my time between it and the YA novel I’m working on. 🙂

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Self-Publishing “1000 Words” – Ebook Anthology Now Available

Well, the good news is in! “1000 Words: A Collection of Short Stories” is now available as an ebook on Smashwords, and soon to be available on Kindle. 🙂

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/154613

Here’s the cover reveal (went through a couple transformations, but this is by far the one I like best. Yay for a “Twilight Zone” feeling):

SBibb - 1000 Words Cover

Overall, converting it into an ebook wasn’t so hard. Mostly just time consuming, and tweaking things here and there (I’m pretty sure there’s still a couple issues with the Smashwords format, but I’m not sure what). Once I had the Smashwords one done, converting it to a Kindle ebook didn’t take long. Unfortunately, you don’t get all the neat layout designs of  a print book, but the content and images are the same.

It’s available for $2.99, and comes with one additional short story not available for free (unlike the other nine stories in it). I will soon be making a print edition available through Createspace, and the price is to be determined.

I’m considering offering formatting services for both print and ebook editions for self-published authors if this goes well, so let me know what you think. 🙂

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Self-Publishing 1000 Words – Four-Way Stop

Originally titled “Stuck at Twilight,” Four-Way Stop was supposed to be about a guy who comes to a stoplight, then realizes all four lights are red. He waits around, then finally decides to run the lights… only to find himself stuck in the crossway of another dimension.

 

Instead, Four-Way Stop turned into some literary/horror mix, about a man whose choices lead him directly to a four-way stop. Maybe later I’ll write the original idea as a short story, or maybe not. Now that I’ve completed the short stories for 1000 Words (and I have the print book formatted, too!), I’m going to be quite happy to return my focus to my young adult novel I’m working on, Distant Horizon (you’ll probably hear more about that in future posts, when I run out of things to say about 1000 Words).

 

The cover for Four-Way Stop was probably one of the easiest for me to complete, even though it was one of the fastest I had to finish. I knew from the start that I wanted to have a red stoplight play a prominent feature in the image. Better yet, it needed to be gray, and preferably have rows of corn or wheat, as well as a road running through it.

 

So I searched through my personal stock imagery, and found an amalgamation of images to put together. A road, tall grass, a red stop-light (knew I had to have that picture somewhere…) and a weird tire-texture that I motioned blurred for the rain. Put it together, and by itself, it looked horrible. This is where textures came in handy. Since it was supposed to be rainy, I added a bit of cloud texture to give it a foggy look. Blurred the background, since who can see in heavy rain? Added the rain texture and tinkered with the effect. Finally chose the image of the girl, and blurred out the side of the face as part of the story. Made it look ghostly, changed the color to a stormy green.

 

Gotta admit, I was pretty happy with the result.

 

Anyways, I then worked on adding the text. I wanted to play with text placement, and conveying the idea of a stoplight. I also wanted “Stop” to be in red, and play a prominent feature. Thus I placed the texture into the corner, all nice and small. It did show the background, but it didn’t really look like a title. So I made it larger, and while I’m not happy that it obscured the background as much as it did, I am happy about the placement, now.

 

Below is the background image, as well as the final book cover.

SBibb - Four-Way Stop Background Image

 SBibb - Four-Way Stop Cover

You can find Four-Way Stop, a literary/horror short story, for free on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/153784

 

In the meantime, if you’re curious about the statistics for the project as a whole, Dreamkeeper is in the lead with 122 downloads, easily surpassing The Carrier, which has been up a week longer, and stands at 102 downloads. It’s possible that people are downloading in multiple versions, or not reading them, but still, I found it interesting to see. I’ve gotten a couple more reviews on the stories (mostly good, yay!), but Dreamkeeper has none at this point in time.

 

Aside from the short I just did upload, Shafted Dreams has a measly 19 downloads, and no reviews. I do wonder whether this is because of the cover or the blurb, since everything else is between 30-70 downloads.

 

After this, I only have one more 1000 Words short story to upload, Socks, and I’ll have a little bit to talk about its cover, as well. The final short story, dubbed “1000 Words” for the title of the anthology, will only be available in the eBook and print anthology versions. I’m not quite sure what I’ll sell the print version at, but the eBook version will likely cost $2.99. I don’t expect a lot of sells, especially since I don’t have any marketing plans in place for it, however, I think it’s nice to offer something for those who want to “contribute to the author.”

 

Meanwhile, the print version of 1000 Words is in the proofing stage (to be printed as soon as possible, in order to get in turned in on time), but I’m fairly happy with it. Reminds me that I actually enjoy formatting print books. Of course, the next step is the eBook, which means seeing how to implement special text as well as embedding images into the file.

 

Let me know if you have questions, I’d be happy to answer them. 🙂

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Self-Publishing 1000 Words – The Magician

Whew. These past few days have been hectic. It’s time for me to order the print version of 1000 Words, and thankfully, I’m in the final stages of preparation. I’ve got all the stories done. All the covers are done. I’ve just uploaded The Magician to Smashwords. Now I’ve just got to review the print book file on Createspace and make adjustments as needed.

Anyways, here’s the cover for my latest “1000 Words” short story,The Magician. Originally it also had a border meant to look like stage curtains, with little black and white checkered buttons on the side. I was told it was too cluttered, and looked like he was in a coffin. So… I cut back on some of the florishes, adjust the text for readability, and voila! We have a cover!

SBibb - The Magician

 

Short Story on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/153295

Look forward to Socks (a sci-fi young adult romance) and Four-Way Stop (a literary horror story) on Smashwords soon. I plan to make more notes about cover design with this project in the coming posts, and I’ll also have further announcements regarding the upcoming print and eBook editions of “1000 Words,” the complete anthology.

By the way, if any of you have been reviewing the short stories already up on Smashwords, thank you. It’s neat to see the reviews trickling in. Really neat if they’re good, but still nice to know what’s not so good.

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any questions. 🙂

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Self-publishing “1000 Words” – Aenima

When I went to create the book cover for Aenima, one of my “1000 Words” short stories, I had a sketch in mind. I wanted the upper half of a winged lady, with a pair of wings framing her and shaped with cogs.

That didn’t exactly happen.

I did manage to get a picture of cogs that I needed, thanks to my fiance for finding the cog while out on his dad’s farm, and I had the pictures I wanted for the lady. But I ran into issues of developing it into the actual cover. Finally I compromised. The wings are present (though looking like butterfly wings), and I managed to incorporate cogs into the picture without actually having them on the wings. Of course, right after I published the short story on Smashwords and starting writing this post, it hit me that the wings in the story are neither bird nor butterfly wings, but dragonfly wings. *Sigh.* Amazing, how I didn’t catch that, even as both the author and the illustrator.

Of course, once I tried putting the text on the image, I realized that spacing did not want to work well for text placement. And I had a horrible time with the font itself. Thankfully, I was directed to look at dafont.com for potential fonts, and found the lovely “Steamwreck” was commercially usable, and free. Yay! (Since then, I have been directed to a font site that allows people to download 10,000 fonts for $20.00. And they’re commercially usable. Not all are suitable for book cover designing, but still… it’s been helpful.) So I finally took the main image and made it smaller, then reused the background, changed the border color, and added little cogs around the text itself.

Overall, I’m pleased with it. I like the book cover image than the “Lady In Cogs” image by itself.

Aenima on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/152094

SBibb - Aenima Book Cover

So now, for a quick update:

Since uploading The Dreamkeeper yesterday, it’s had 42 downloads. The other stories still have a few downloads trickling in, though I’m not sure if that’s due to uploading more stories, or to people finding them on thier own. The Carrier has done the best job so far of still being downloaded. Shafted Dreams is having the least success. I will be interested in seeing if they continue to be downloaded once the project is complete, or if downloads will slow down. Since everything’s free, price is not a factor.

I’m considering uploading a couple other short stories I wrote (longer ones) once I complete this project, and actually pricing them to see if it makes a difference, and if those are actually purchased. Plus I’ll have the anthology version, which will cost money, however, all the “1000 Words” short stories will remain free, at least for the time being. That way, if anyone wants to support me, they can, but no one has to.

I’ve just completed another cover for one of the stories I need to write, and I’ve written a sci-fi romance story to add to the project. This means that I have two stories to edit, two stories to write, and four covers to design.

You can find my latest short story, Aenima, at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/152094

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Self-Publishing “1000 Words” – The Dreamkeeper

Cover reveal for The Dreamkeeper, part of my “1000 Words project.” I’m quite pleased with this cover, though the typography decided it wanted to give me a difficult time finding something that worked for the story and also looked good in thumbnail size. I finally decided that the “1000 Words” part would just have to be smaller in thumbnail, and likely unreadable at that size, while the author name and title would be clear. If it catches someone’s attention, hopefully they’ll click it and see the larger cover.

That’s the idea, anyway.

 

SBibb - The Dreamkeeper Cover

 

So for the quick update, The Dreamkeeper is now available on Smashwords. It’s also sitting at 900 words, rather than 1000. Why? Because I kept cutting words, rather than adding them. AfterThe Hunt, in which I probably should have cut another hundred words from the story, it’s become rather evident that I follow the theory of making a story as long or as short as it needs to be. That means that if it needs to be longer, fine. (But you might be suprised at what can be cut, as I’m discovering with my YA novel). However, if it should be shorter, that’s fine, too.

Of course, since this is specifically for a 1000 words project, I’m going to try to keep it within 100 words either way.

As for the statistics of the project so far, Snow Witch hasn’t had any more downloads, though The Carrier is still getting the occasional download, and now sits at 76 downloads total. How many people actually read it, I don’t know. Shafted Dreams is being… well… shafted, at a low 13 downloads since I uploaded it three days ago, while The Hunt has surpassed it with a total of 24 downloads and 1 review. Not bad for uploading it yesterday. Everything’s free, of course, so that may help me get downloads, where having them cost $0.99 didn’t have much result.

As of uploading The Dreamkeeper  a few minutes ago, it has had three downloads. I shall hope that continues. 🙂

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/151854 

Meanwhile, I am working on another cover for an unwritten “1000 Words” story, tentatively called,The Magician, and I have three story ideas to play with. One shall be young adult dystopian/war. 🙂

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Self-Publishing “1000 Words” – The Hunt

I’m trying to get these done faster as I get closer to the deadline with which I need to order this book. For those of you just now joining in, “1000 Words is my Honors College Project. The plan is to write ten short stories, each 1000 words in length (because “a picture’s worth a thousand words”) , accompanied by a book cover I design. I’m hoping to go into book cover design, so I’m trying to create a portfolio that I can use to promote my work.

 

SBibb - "The Hunt" Book Cover

 

Anyways, the latest short story I’ve completed (and published on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/151461) is called “The Hunt.” It’s a short story about a young hunter defending herself against an intelligent cougar  stalking her family’s village. This one is meant to be young adult/adult, and adventure themed.
As an update on the previously published stories, Snow Witch is standing the same in statistics, The Carrier now has 70 downloads and one review, while Shafted Dreams has only 12 downloads. Though there’s only been a few days of having Shafted Dreams self-published, it has far fewer downloads than The Carrier did. I suspect it may have something to do with an uninteresting blurb, or the difference in being published late at night versus early morning (though the fact The Carrier is still getting downloads make me think this should be a mute point).

Anyways, I have two more stories currently written that need to be edited, one story that needs to have edits finalized (which also needs adjustments to the typography on the cover), then three more stories/covers to complete. I also need to create a cover for the anthology itself. And this really should be ordered next week. Needless to say, it’s not a good idea to procrastinate. Especially when it comes to editing.

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Self-Publishing “1000 Words” – Shafted Dreams

Another update, as the due date for completing this project draws closer… 

I have removed Snow Witch from Kindle (though it may still show as the system processes this), and made it free on Smashwords. There have been two additional downloads since then. It did recieve one review on Smashwords, which was two stars, but said it was worth the read.

The Carrier has 64 downloads since I uploaded it. There have not been any reviews as of this time.

I have just now uploaded the next short story, Shafted Dreams. Unlike the other short stories, it is a political commentary, and more on the literary side of genres. It is also told in three short points of view. I’m curious to see if it gets downloaded more or less, or has a difference in tendency to be reviewed. It is also a story I feel has a stronger cover, so I’m curious to see how that goes. Of course, I have uploaded it as free.

As a side note, I am noticing a theme starting to develop in this project, loosely themed around family. With that in mind, I’ll pay attention to that in other stories. 🙂

Anyways, the statistics of the project is as follows:

3 Stories completed.
4 Stories written but not edited.
3 Stories still need to be written.
5 Book Covers completed. 

1 Book Cover nearing completion.
4 Book Covers still need to be designed.

Anthology Cover still needs to be designed.

Let me know if you guys have any questions or anything you want me to go into more detail about with this project. 🙂

 

Shafted Dreams: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/151067

 

SBibb - Shafted Dreams Cover

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